This is cause for alarm, but certainly not despair. The most important lesson that, to my mind, we need to take from today’s events is a profoundly hopeful one. Protest works. The pressure of the people works to effect change. And it is only by keeping up that pressure that further change will occur.
I’ve stood accused of ‘romanticizing’ the revolution, in the face of those who feel that it is too soon even to use the word ‘revolution’ to describe what is transpiring in Egypt. Surely it is as clear as day that, for the Egyptians who trek to Tahrir Square every Friday, this is a revolution… or, at the very least, a revolution in progress. They know all too well how much there is left to accomplish. They are not about to rest on their laurels. Why? Because they saw on February 11th, the day of the resignation, and they saw today, that protest works, that they are the very lynchpin of the revolution. This is the lesson that the SCAF has sent Egyptians today, that the people of Egypt have power and can exercise that power to effect change. And for that lesson, I am enormously grateful.